Edward L. Gardner

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E. L. Gardner in 1927
E. L. Gardner as member of Exec Committee of TS in England
N. Sri Ram and E. L. Gardner at Tekels Park. © Theosophical Society in England Archives.

Edward Lewis Gardner (1869-1969) was a noted writer and lecturer from the English Section of the Theosophical Society based in Adyar, India.

Personal life

Gardner was born at Coggeshall, Essex, England in 1869. He was first married to Clara Beard in 1892. She died in 1920, and he later, in 1922, married Eliza Adelaide Draper, a respected Theosophical writer and lecturer who was born in the United States.

Theosophical Society involvement

Gardner joined the TS on April 17, 1907. He served as General Secretary of the English Section from 1924-28. According to Theosopedia,

Gardner traveled widely as an International Lecturer for the Theosophical Society. In 1926 he founded the theosophical community at Stamford House, Wimbledon, London, and presided over it until 1940. Gardner was one of a group that bought Tekels Park, now vested in the English section of the TS. [1]

In 1918 Gardner had the honor of delivering the inaugural Blavatsky Lecture on the subject of "Matter is the Shadow of Spirit," followed by "The Nature and Function of the Soul" in 1946, and "Whence Come the Gods? and Related Studies" in 1959.

Later years

Bookmark featuring Gardner, issued by TS in England
Book cover, 1962.


Gardner was much known for his writings. The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 74 articles under the name EL Gardner, 3 under E L Gardner, and 14 under Edward L Gardner.

In 1940 he was awarded the Subba Row Medal for his contributions to Theosophical literature. These are books and pamphlets that he wrote:

  • The Fourth Creative Hierarchy, Matter is the Shadow of Spirits, and The Web of the Universe. Madras, India: F.E. Philp & Sons, 1913. Reprinted 1936, rev. Ed. 1938.
  • The Web of the Universe. 1936.
  • The Play of Consciousness. 1939.
  • Fairies; A book of Real Fairies. 1945.
  • Fairies: The Cottingley Photographs and Their Sequel. 1945.
  • The Mysteries. 1945.
  • The Nature and the Function of the Soul. 1946.
  • The Imperishable Body. 1949.
  • The Heavenly Man. 1952.
  • The Wider View & Studies in the Secret Doctrine. 1962. Håkan Blomqvist describes this as "a collection of articles published between 1944-1959. In several of these articles Gardner tries to understand the UFO enigma from a Theosophical viewpoint. His theory is that they represent either etheric Venusians or deva materializations."[2]
  • There Is No Religion Higher Than Truth. 1964. Booklet.
  • A Mind to Embrace the Universe. 1965.
  • Thyself Both Heaven and Hell. 1966.


  1. "Gardner, Edward Lewis" in Theosopedia.
  2. Håkan Blomqvist at at UFOArchives.blogspot.